You and I have something in common, dear reader.
We both love Stephen King. Don’t try and tell me otherwise, I won’t believe you.
A lot of people love Stephen King, and that’s why we have so many movies. There’s some really good ones. You know, your Carries, your Shinings, your Dead Zones. Great films, one and all.
Then there’s the rest. Your sequels to tv movies based on short stories. Sometimes They Come Back…For More, The Mangler 3, Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return. Generally, these films are forgotten about, often rightfully so.
But should they be?
The purpose of this occasional column is to reappraise these Forgotten Kings, and hopefully find some hidden gems. I know, it’s unlikely, but let’s dive straight in with 1999’s The Rage: Carrie 2.
Welcome to 1999. The jeans are baggy. There’s tie dye everywhere. Two different men play guitars. There’s ska punk on the soundtrack.
Welcome to 1999.
One thing never changes. Jocks. If I’ve learnt one thing from American movies, it’s that jocks are assholes. Look at them. Look at that sweater vest! One of them is even holding a football, in case it’s not obvious enough from their smug faces. These guys are so cool, the guy on the left can tie his sweater round his waist and no one bats an eyelid.
See that girl talking to American Pie’s Mena Suvari? That’s Rachel Lang. We know she’s an outsider because she wakes up beneath a Nine Inch Nails poster.
1999 welcomes you.
Did someone say American Pie? Here’s Finch from that same film! It’s like an American Pie reunion, years before they turned that dreadful idea into horrifying reality.
I hate 1999.
You see, it turns out the jocks are sleeping with as many girls as they can as part of a game. There’s a points system in place, but it’s rather confusing. The only one I understood was that it was 30 points for ‘converting a dyke’.
Welcome to hell.
Sue Snell even turns up, played by the same actress, Amy Irving! Because, surprisingly, the film is a direct sequel to Brian De Palma’s version. There’s even copious flashback footage from the original, which is never a good sign. I actually think the film would work better as a stand alone, because Sue Snell adds nothing to the film except exposition. There is a cool scene where they revisit the burnt out high school from part 1.
Welcome to 1977.
But the film runs 105 minutes, which is 15 minutes too long for most films. I dunno, there are definitely some films that can justify a long running time. This is not one of them. I’d like to do a fanedit that cuts Sue Snell out, but I totally can’t be bothered.
Welcome to 90 minutes.
I do like Carrie though. Wait, I mean Rachel. As played by Emily Bergl, she’s a really likeable presence. Her and Jason London’s tentative romance is actually, y’know, kinda sweet. It is! Stop shaking your head at me.
Welcome to my world.
Jocks again, doing what jocks do, pulling faces and shouting and shaving each other’s heads. Except they’re also plotting revenge against Carrie, dammit I mean Rachel, for helping the police try to charge a jock for the statutory rape that led to Mena Suvari’s suicide.
There’s no prom this time. Instead, Rachel is invited to a party at the kind of house only asshole jocks’ parents seem to own.
Welcome to the party!
So far, the film has been pretty so-so. Not boring, well made, enjoyable enough. I’m liking it. The party scene changes everything.
Because how do you top a bucket of pigs blood?
Well, in Carrie it was only really Chris and Billy who were in on the prank. In Carrie 2, it’s much more elaborate. Poor Carrie (RACHELRACHELRACHEL) is strung along for days by a gang of people pretending to befriend her. Then she’s brought to a party, they reveal they hate her, they lie and tell her that her boyfriend only slept with her as part of the game and then they broadcast a sex tape of her.
It’s horrendous, and it plays out brilliantly, director Katt Shea wringing out maximum tension from the scene. It’s a perfectly nasty update for modern audiences, and it sets us up nicely for Rachel (I remembered!) to wreak her violent revenge.
And boy does she ever!
But there’s one scene that deserves to go down in history as one of the great moments of the modern theatrical horror film experience.
I’m deadly serious.
Rachel confronts 2 of her tormentors. A girl and a guy. They are, for some reason, armed with harpoon guns. It must be a jock thing.
Anyway, Rachel does the obvious and makes the girl’s eyes explode.
This causes her to spin round and point her harpoon at the boys crotch.
She pulls the trigger. Of course, it’s a 90s horror flick, so you’re not actually going to see anything, are you?
Wait, no, there’s his dick on the end of a harpoon.
Yup, there it goes, off into the pool. Bye bye!
I did not expect that.
Welcome to The Rage: Carrie 2.
And so for that scene alone, I can safely say that The Rage: Carrie 2 is rather unfairly forgotten. It has characters I actually cared about, for realz dude. It’s got a great 90s time capsule quality. The effects hold up, the music is hilariously dated (1999 was year zero of the short lived swing music revival) and a woman’s eyes blow up and she shoots her friends penis off.
What the hell else do you want?
WHAT BORIS THOUGHT: There is a dog. The dog is hit by a car.
THE DOG LIVES! This made Boris happy, although you wouldn’t know it to look at him.
OVERALL: 3 paws out of 5. Cut 15 minutes out of the film, and we’d be looking at a 4.